Issues in Diagnostic Research

  • Cynthia G. Last
  • Michel Hersen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. General Issues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Juan E. Mezzich, William Goodpastor, Ada C. Mezzich
      Pages 87-98
    3. William M. Grove
      Pages 99-119
    4. John P. Feighner, Jessica Herbstein
      Pages 121-140
  3. Methodological Issues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. W. Douglas Thompson
      Pages 143-160
    3. William S. Rea, Irl L. Extein, Mark S. Gold
      Pages 161-178
    4. Cynthia G. Last
      Pages 201-216
  4. Special Topics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. James L. Hedlund, Bruce W. Vieweg
      Pages 241-269
    3. James M. Stevenson, Melinda C. Mullins
      Pages 271-301
    4. Rosemery O. Nelson
      Pages 303-327
    5. Judith L. Rapoport
      Pages 329-343
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 345-349

About this book


Prior and subsequentto the publication of the third edition of the Diagnos­ tic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), we have witnessed a considerable upsurge in the quantity and quality of research concerned with the psychiatric diagnostic process. There are several factors that have contributed to this empirical influx, including improved diagnostic cri­ teria for many psychiatric disorders, increased nosological attention to childhood psychopathology, and development and standardization of several structured diagnostic interview schedules for both adult and child populations. With the advent of DSM-III-R, and in anticipation of DSM-IV, diagnostic labels and their definitions have been in a state of change, as evinced by the many refinements and modifications currently taking place. However, the basic purpose or raison d'etre of the nosological scheme has not been altered. Psychiatric diagnosis is the means by which we classify or categorize human psychopathology. And, as is the case in the medical arena, psychiatric diagnosis serves three central functions: classification. communication. and prediction. As research accumulates, our understanding of psychiatric disorders increases, and we are in a much better position to classify reliably and with validity, as well as to com­ municate and predict Despite periodic changes in the diagnostic system, the basic strategies for conducting diagnostic research (e. g. , genetic-family studies, biological markers, follow-up studies, etc. ) do not vary appreciably over time. But in over one decade no scholarly book has appeared that tackles the essential research issues involved in upgrading the diagnostic endeavor.


assessment attention diagnosis psychiatric disorder psychiatry psychopathology

Editors and affiliations

  • Cynthia G. Last
    • 1
  • Michel Hersen
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine PittsburghUSA

Bibliographic information